Violent Night Review: David Harbour 2022 Film Movie Santa Claus

Movie Bunker Score:

Violent Night: A Modern Christmas Film with a Twist

Unlike your traditional Christmas film, Violent Night brings together an unexpected blend of action, horror, and holiday spirit. Think of it as a contemporary iteration of Die Hard, where our unlikely hero is none other than David Harbour, portraying a soft-hearted Father Christmas. Universal’s Violent Night, written by Pat Casey and Josh Miller, directed by Tommy Wirkola, is an absolute must-see this Christmas season.

An Emotional Journey Through a 112-Minute Ride

Prepare to embark on an emotional rollercoaster as Violent Night takes you on a thrilling ride from start to finish. With a runtime of 112 minutes, the film skillfully balances pulse-pounding action scenes that leave you on the edge of your seat, heartwarming moments shared between Santa and Trudy, and well-placed comedic relief that works effortlessly. The montage sequences incorporated throughout the movie are captivating, especially the adrenaline-fueled action sequences that can rival those of Quentin Tarantino’s iconic Kill Bill series.

A Nod to Christmas Classics

One of the most enchanting aspects of Violent Night is its subtle references and callbacks to beloved Christmas classics. Drawing inspiration from films like Home Alone, Die Hard, and Elf, the filmmakers pay homage to the timeless movies that have become synonymous with the holiday season. These nods inject moments of joy, warmth, and nostalgia, giving audiences a delightful break from the film’s fast-paced and intense nature.

A Societal Critique with a Touch of Christmas Spirit

Violent Night also serves as a critique of our society and how the Christmas spirit has evolved over time. Through Santa’s character, we witness the jarring contrast between the present-day world and the traditional beliefs associated with Christmas. From pulling out video games instead of traditional gifts from his magical sack to filling stockings with money, Violent Night raises thought-provoking questions about the commercialization and materialism that often overshadow the true meaning of the holiday season. This commentary, reminiscent of the poignant scene in Jon Favreau’s Elf, strikes a chord, reminding us of the importance of cherishing the genuine joy and values that Christmas embodies.

A Stellar Year for David Harbour

2022 has undoubtedly been a year of success for David Harbour. From reprising his iconic role in Netflix’s Stranger Things Season 4 to showcasing his talent alongside Bill Pullman in the play Mad House on London’s West End, Harbour’s star continues to shine brighter. Violent Night further solidifies his status as a versatile actor, leaving a lasting impact on audiences of all ages.

An Unforgettable Christmas Experience

Without a doubt, Violent Night delivers an immensely enjoyable cinematic experience. The passionate response from the sold-out crowds during my screening is a testament to its gripping narrative and engaging performances. It’s the kind of film that demands repeat viewings, offering new nuances and moments to appreciate with each watch. Ending the film with the iconic song “Merry Xmas Everybody” by Slade was the perfect choice, leaving viewers with a warm, festive feeling that lingers long after the credits roll.


Violent Night may defy expectations with its unconventional blend of action, horror, and holiday cheer, but it is precisely this unique concoction that makes it a standout film. With a talented cast led by David Harbour, expertly crafted references to beloved Christmas classics, and thought-provoking societal commentary, the movie strikes a perfect balance between excitement, nostalgia, and heartwarming moments. Make it a priority to add Violent Night to your must-watch list this holiday season; it’s a cinematic experience you won’t want to miss.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. Is Violent Night suitable for viewers of all ages?

    While Violent Night may feature intense action sequences and elements of horror, it is ultimately a film that can be enjoyed by a wide range of audiences. However, parental guidance is advised for younger viewers due to certain scenes that might be unsettling.

  2. Are there any standout performances apart from David Harbour’s?

    Although David Harbour delivers a captivating portrayal of Santa Claus, the supporting cast also adds depth and charm to the film. Look out for standout performances by the talented ensemble, including Trudy’s character, whose chemistry with Santa brings warmth and emotional depth to their scenes.

  3. How does Violent Night compare to other Christmas films?

    Violent Night sets itself apart from traditional Christmas films by bravely blending genres and exploring darker themes. It offers a refreshing twist on the holiday movie genre, providing audiences with a unique and thrilling cinematic experience that is both captivating and thought-provoking.

  4. Does Violent Night maintain a balance between action and heartwarming moments?

    Absolutely! Violent Night impressively strikes a delicate balance between adrenaline-pumping action sequences and heartwarming exchanges between characters. This careful blend ensures that audiences are taken on an emotional journey that keeps them engaged from start to finish.

  5. Is Violent Night available for streaming or only in theaters?

    As of now, Violent Night is available exclusively in theaters, providing audiences with a cinematic experience that immerses them in the thrilling world of Santa Claus. Be sure to check local listings for showtimes and availability.